12 Aug Treating PCOS Naturally
Lifestyle changes can have a marked effect on reproductive health, including positive turnarounds for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If you are one of the 10% of women in the United States living with PCOS, speak to your physician about these natural ways to minimize symptoms and support healthy, reproductive health.
Natural Evidence-Based PCOS Treatments
As fertility specialists, we devote a great deal of energy to treating patients with PCOS, struggling to ovulate, get pregnant and enjoy a healthy, full-term pregnancy. In fact, one of our very own physicians, Dr. Williams, recently published his cutting-edge PCOS research findings.
However, above and beyond fertility, natural support of PCOS symptoms improves overall wellbeing. It reduces a woman’s chances of developing other health conditions associated with PCOS, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and being overweight.
While Metformin and other medications may be necessary to support a patient’s insulin resistance and hormone imbalance, we prefer to start with the least invasive treatment methods to see if they are enough to do the trick.
In the case of PCOS, that approach begins with some of these natural, evidence-based treatments.
1. Low-Carb Diet (Modified Atkins or South Beach)
Women with PCOS are typically heavier in the middle and struggle to lose their excess weight no matter how much they diet and exercise. They may also have insatiable sugar cravings. Does that sound familiar?
All of the above is part of your body’s insulin resistance, which compromises blood sugar balance. The effect is that you end up in a vicious cycle. So switching to a modified Atkins, South Beach, or “ketogenic” (keto) diet that dramatically reduces carbs can have a dramatic effect on the way your body feels (Click Here to read the research).
Speak to your physician about a PCOS and pregnancy diet that focuses on lowering carbs and balancing blood sugar while simultaneously suppressing inflammation.
2. Time caloric intake to focus on breakfast
Total caloric intake is undoubtedly worth noting, but now we know that “When” you eat your calories matters too.
Women who eat the majority of their calories early in the day (breakfast), concentrate on a lower-caloric intake in the late afternoon and evening, and who fast for at least 12 hours overnight (7 p.m. to 7 a.m., for example) experienced a dramatically positive change in their insulin and glucose levels. They also had a notable decline in testosterone levels (PCOS is associated with higher androgen, male hormone levels) and higher ovulation rates. Click Here to read the study.
3. Moderate daily exercise
Weight management is essential to lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease and supporting a healthy reproductive system. Experiment with different types of exercise to land on a combination that you enjoy and that suits your schedule. Sure, hitting the gym is excellent, and so is that neighborhood exercise class.
You can also get exercise in by:
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Dancing in your living room or bedroom
- Taking an “online exercise class” (Yoga with Adrienne, anyone?)
- Taking a short morning and evening walk
- Going on a hike after work or on the weekends
- Riding your bike to run errands
- Playing a low-impact sport
- Taking the stairs instead of an elevator
Moving more, even outside of dedicated “exercise time,” helps burn extra calories and prevents the onset of extra pounds.
Are you struggling to get pregnant with PCOS? First, speak to your doctor about how to begin treating the condition naturally. Then, schedule an appointment with us here at Virginia Fertility & IVF.